From left: San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Michael Tilson Thomas, and California Representative Nancy Pelosi at the Dec. 15 renaming of Grove Street as MTT Way. Photo by Michaela Vatcheva/San Francisco Chronicle.

In Wednesday’s (12/20) San Francisco Chronicle, Joshua Kosman writes, “Michael Tilson Thomas has withdrawn from two of his three scheduled weeks with the San Francisco Symphony in early 2024 to focus on his health. The Symphony’s music director laureate will not conduct the concerts for the weeks of Jan. 18-20 or Feb. 23-25. He does, however, plan to conduct the orchestra in Mahler’s Fifth Symphony on Jan. 25-27. Those will be his final appearances on the Symphony’s subscription series, the orchestra announced Wednesday, Dec. 20. Thomas, who turns 79 on Thursday, Dec. 21, was diagnosed in 2021—a year after his retirement following 25 years as the Symphony’s music director—with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive form of brain cancer. He made the news public in 2022. Since that time, he has continued to conduct both in San Francisco and elsewhere, most recently an October performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony [in San Francisco]. On Friday, Dec. 15, he was present for a public dedication of MTT Way, the newly renamed block of Grove Street that runs past the entrance of Davies Hall … Thomas’ final appearance will be devoted to Mahler.”